“What’d I miss?” – Week of October 4th

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.

Zobieland was #1 at the box office last weekend. Great movie.

– I’ve been thinking about facial recognition a lot lately. My brother works for a company that applies analytics to their video systems to identify people and other objects, even license plates. We’ve discussed the possibility of applying this technology to tablet identification. I also think there’s a place for facial recognition in healthcare. Facial recognition is simply another biometic ID. We use fingerprint scanning on our Pyxis stations now, why not facial recognition. The technology appears to be maturing. A research team from the School of Computing Sciences at UEA found that computers could outperform human lip-readers by a large margin. We also know that the Faces feature in Apple’s iPhoto ‘09 and Picasa from Google offer facial recognition tagging for photos. Just a thought.

PTR: “These tools [Web 2.0] provide you with a unique approach to forming better ties to your customers. Blogging is a great way to start. You could blog about seasonal allergies and what you recommend for your LOCAL ENVIRONMENT. You could feature biographies on your (willing) staff and create a common place for customer comments and interaction. Interaction is the key. It’s a social medium that enables you to reach out to your customers as creatively as you want.” – That’s really the crux of the matter. Blog about things that interest you and make connections with people of similar mind. It really works. Todd has more information on the subject, in the form of a 7 page document, here.

Medscape performed a survey on which EMR systems users felt was the best. Amazing Charts received the highest marks while Cerner received the lowest. Interesting.

Mansonelle_perstans– The New England Journal of Medicine (N Engl J Med 2009;361:1448-1458,1502-1504) is reporting that doxycycline is effective against infection with Mansonella perstans, a filarial parasite. M. perstans is found primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and is refractory to standard antifilarial therapies. Doxycycline is a great drug that still carries significant value and is sadly underutilized.

– A study in the Journal of Pain (J Pain. 2009;10:944–952) found that “Self-medication of pain with alcohol is most common among younger nonHispanic white males and associated with pain frequency, depression, and use of pain medications. Alcohol use for pain needs to be assessed so that health care providers can make appropriate referrals and adjustments to treatment.” Not good.

Medscape lists 19 drugs that the FDA is keeping an eye on for safety risks. All drugs come with some inherent risk, some are just worse than others.

IT World: “Market research firm NPD put out a study earlier this week about the market penetration of various PC brands, which was full of all sorts of interesting information, but the one that was most interesting to me was that almost 85 percent of households with Macs also have at least one Windows PC. (And no, the reverse is not also true.)” – I guess I’m normal. I have 4 Macs, 3 desktops and 1 MacBook, two Windows laptops and a Windows tablet PC. People continue to move toward Macs for various reasons, but will always be tied to Windows secondary to it being the standard in many industries. With that said, it’s quite simple and easy to run Windows on Mac desktops and laptops. That’s something I think Microsoft should embrace. After all, they don’t sell hardware, they sell software.

SonyLthin

– Someone finally decided that the Apple MacBook Air should be copied. The Sony Vaio X is an 11.1-inche notbook that is a whopping 0.55 inches thick and weighs 1.6 pounds. That’s thin and light. Oh yeah, it also boasts a 14 hour battery life with the extended battery pack. Now if I could only convince Sony to add a Pixel Qi LCD screen and make it a convertible laptop it would be perfect.

PalmPixiSkull– We’ve got some hot new cell phones hitting the market soon. The HTC HD2 is a great looking smartphone running a modified version of Windows mobile. The touchscreen is huge with a 4.3 inch surface. Check out the video here. The Palm Pixi is also headed for a mobile provider near you. I like what the Pixi has to offer, WebOS, tactile keyboard, multi-touch screen, etc., but I don’t like the footprint or the screen size. Check out the Palm Pixi Artist Series, I like the skull.

Powermat Home & Office Mat: ” Wirelessly charges up to 3 Powermat-enabled devices simultaneously (plus one USB power port). Works with all Powermat receivers. Universal Powercube with 8 tips is included to enable you to charge hundreds of different devices.” – Available for $99 at Best Buy. I want one.

The Angry Pharmacist: “What kills my soul (which a lot of things do, this being one of them), is when patients have a tiny-yet-dangerous bit of medical knowledge gained through the internet or one nursing class 15 years ago. Then the bullshit they spout actually sounds like it really did come from the doctor or pharmacist even though its completely wrong.” – There’s a some truth in that statement. Sometimes a little information found via the internet can be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. That’s why it’s important to discuss this information with your healthcare provider while keeping an open mind.

– President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hmm, that’s great for the United States and Washington D.C., but I have to wonder what body of work the decision was based on. I  believe the last US President to win this award was Jimmy Carter in 2002, long after he left office, for his “decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” Note the keyword “decades”.

– How cool is this, NASA crashed a rocket into the moon in search of hidden ice. It’s kind of like what my brothers and I do on the 4th of July, only on a much larger scale. You can see video of the crash here, but it’s not much to look at.

– The top five search engine phrases used by people to arrive at my site this week: 1. “iphone apps for pharmacists”, 2. “pharmacists curriculum vitae”, 3. “dell xt2”, 4. “arra cope”, 5. “pyxis dispensing system pros and cons”.

– Would someone please put professional baseball out of its misery. We have professional football, college football, the United Football League, professional basketball and professional hockey to watch this time of year. We don’t need baseball playoffs in snowy Colorado. Shorten the season and finish up in September for crying out loud.

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Have a great weekend everyone.

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